(All quotations from Kabbani, unless otherwise stated, are taken from his
work ‘Islamic Beliefs and Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna’, Vol.
1, as-Sunna Foundation of America publication, Second Edition, 1997)
THE TRUE WAY OF THE SALAF IN KABBANI’S BOOK
Ignoring for the moment Kabbani’s distortion of the Salafi belief, particularly his misrepresentation of the shaykhs ‘Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz, ibn al-Uthaymeen and al-Albaanee, there still remains something corresponding to the true Salafi position regarding the Names and Attributes of Allaah in Kabbani’s book. These can be found in the following excerpts (however, it is worth noting that Kabbani does not present these quotes as representing the true Salafi position):
"The obligatory way to proceed is either to explain these words according to their external meanings which conform with Allah’s transcendence above any like or partner, and this includes not explaining them as bodily appendages and other corporeal imagery. Therefore it will be said, for example: He has established Himself over the Throne as He has said, with an establishment which befits His majesty and oneness; and He has a hand as He has said, which befits His divinity and majesty; etc."
(Kabbani, p. 117, citing al-Buti)
Where is the anthropomorphism in this? As far as Kabbani is concerned, Salafis who follow the principles outlined in this quote resemble Allaah to His creation!
A further reference to the Salafi belief is found in the following words from one of the leading students of Imaam Aboo Haneefah, and Kabbani again reproduces this in his book:
"The scholars of the Law have agreed from East to West that belief is obligatory in Allah’s attributes as mentioned in the Qur’aan and the hadiths conveyed from the Prophet by the trustworthy narrators, without likening Allah to the creation and without explaining them. Whoever explains them and says what Jahm says has departed from the practice of the Prophet and the Companions and parted with the Congregation of Muslims, because he has described His Lord as nothing."
(Kabbani, p.188, citing Muhammad ibn al-Hasan as-Shaybanee)
Note the explanation of the Attributes which Imaam Muhammad as-Shaybaanee is censuring here, and that is the explanation offered by Jahm ibn Safwaan. Who is it therefore who has "departed from the practice of the Prophet and the Companions and parted with the Congregation of Muslims"? Is it the Salafis, whose explanation of the Attributes fall in line with the approach of the Imaams of the Sunnah mentioned earlier by at-Tirmidhee (as well as Muhammad as-Shaybaanee)? Or Kabbani whose precedent for his beliefs is none other than Jahm ibn Safwaan, as the earlier example showed?
Now either Kabbani knows that these quotes from his book represent the Salafi position on the Attributes of Allaah and he has chosen instead to blatantly misrepresent their beliefs to his readers. Or he does not know that they depict the Salafi position and has thereby not only falsely accused the Salafis of anthropomorphism but also spoken without knowledge. Either of these two reasons highlights a grave defect in his work.